Sprucing up a Summer Space

Now that Memorial Day has officially passed, many will be making the weekly Friday night trek to weekend homes and seasonal rentals. Summer is the time to entertain with ease and having a place looking casually chic is the name of the game. I had planned on doing a post about ways to personalize summer spaces but happily, the theme of this month’s House Beautiful is “Quick Changes” and is chock full of appealing ideas. Of course if you’re renting, don’t forget to check first with your landlord to find out what is allowed.

The piece on Ken Fulk‘s charming Provincetown house includes 5 handy ideas to “create a sense of time and place.” The first suggestion is to paint an accent wall as he did so effectively above. It serves as the perfect backdrop for the season’s omnipresent green in the painting and on the painted chair (another handy trick – a quick coat of white paint gives any flea market find instant summer freshness).

Idea number two is simplifying with white slipcovers. While not everyone can afford to do this in a rental, it’s a great way to neutralize a space for a summer scenario and even better if they are removable and machine washable. Some places sell shabby chic one-size-fits-all versions that can be adapted to many existing pieces. You can then customize with inexpensive accessories – think pillows and throws – lending your space instant personalization.

Frame and hang a collection – a no brainer!! Pick a theme and hit local flea markets and tag sales to create a unified grouping. You’d be surprised how well everything works together when it’s all of like-minded subjects – choose dog or portrait paintings like Fulk did below or sailboats, flowers or any other theme that relates to your location!

The easiest way to brighten up a bedroom is with lively bedding – so mix and match to create a colorful statement. This handsome room is completed with sophisticated John Robshaw selections but you could easily find some fun summer prints for less – don’t forget to check out the seasonal flash sales online!

Many advocate adding an antique to every room to ground it and give a little gravitas. Suggestion number 5 of putting an antique in the bathroom is a perfect character building exercise. If you have room, add a charming chair or small table – it doesn’t have to have provenance – just charisma! And if not, then art work is always the answer!

The photos from the piece were taken by the talented Ngoc Minh Ngo for House Beautiful. And I was pleased to discover that there is a little video she produced of the project for the website – enjoy!


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15 Responses to Sprucing up a Summer Space

  1. Wonderful, simple advice — even for those of us without summer spaces! :) Thanks for passing it along.

  2. Elle says:

    I agree with Heather. These are solid suggestions for any type of space! Thanks.

  3. pve says:

    sprucing up a summer space with nature, good towels, bowls of fruit, summer scented candles and plenty of fluids, flip flops and fancy snacks —-makes me want my own summer place to add a zest of freshness. a journal and art supplies are also nice to bring.
    pve

  4. Lucrecia says:

    For me, fresh flowers and music ! very simple and effective.

  5. Agree with Lucretia on the flowers and your own favorite music. Plus a big stack of DVD movies. And a fully stocked bar. & the most important things of all, your friends and family running in & out. Are you partcipating in next week’s “BIO” post on June 5th Tuesday? Big hug, Stacey…..

  6. I love a pile of Indian print bedspreads, a kitchen full of herbs and organic greens, a hefty supply of candles [votives and tapers], plenty of good books, art supplies, a Bose dock ready for a collection of music from all iPods, and plenty of good wine and champagne. Further additions come by way of painted rocks and collected seashells! Happy summer, Stacey!! ox

  7. Since we don’t have a summer place this is great advice for our homes. I hope you have a wonderful summer!

    XX
    Debra~

  8. Franki Parde says:

    Hmmmm, was wondering if I qualify as the “antique” in the bathroom…maybe vintage…franki

  9. Love having fresh fruit, music, no tv at my beach house and would def love some new John Robshaw bedding…..great post!

  10. Mary Jo says:

    I love the idea of making a few changes for summer that change the feeling of a home–most of all love that ship design on his fire grate. I wonder if slip covers can be found in a curved shape?

    xo Mary Jo

  11. Wonderful advice – for a summer home or anywhere. A few white slipcovers can make the most citified house feel like a beach retreat!

  12. Carla Aston says:

    Nice post. I love John Robshaw bedding. It’s the perfect way to add some color. I’m ready for my summer too!

  13. I am a new convert to slip covers. My friend from my last post rearranges her furniture for the summer, I thought that was interesting. I know its summer when the window sill is lined with fresh tomatoes!
    Best,
    Liz

  14. Suzanne says:

    I really enjoyed this
    and am ready to move
    into Ken’s Providence digs : )

    Thanks for the tips…..

    Happy Wednesday,
    xo Suzanne

  15. the zhush says:

    Officially obsessed with those Robshaw linens!

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